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Diary from March 4, 1861, to November 12, 1862

by Adam Gurowski

In this Diary I recorded what I heard and saw myself, and what I heard from others, on whose veracity I can implicitly rely.I recorded impressions as immediately as I felt them. A life almost wholly spent in the tempests and among the breakers of our times has taught me that the first impressions are the purest and the best.If they ever peruse these pages, my friends and acquaintances will find therein what, during these horrible national trials, was a subject of our confidential conversations and discussions, what in letters and by mouth was a subject of repeated forebodings and warnings. Perhaps these pages may in some way explain a phenomenon almost unexampled in history,—that twenty millions of people, brave, highly intelligent, and mastering all the wealth of modern civilization, were, if not virtually overpowered, at least so long kept at bay by about five millions of rebels.

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Matthew Bayan is the only person in the world to die and be brought back to life 72 times. He is best known for his book, Eat Fat Be Healthy that describes this experience. Bayan however also had a very adventurous childhood and felt inspired to write down some of those memories after a high school reunion. This formed the backdrop for his coming-of-age mystery, The Firecracker King. As our Author of the Day, Bayan tells us all about it.
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